In a Chinese Temple-Garden: oriental phantasy                                                          Back to list of works index

 

This piece was first advertised in Musical Opinion (January 1923) as "even better than In a Persian Market".   That turned out to be merely publisher’s hype, as this work has had only a fraction of the number of recordings – audiences probably find the whole-tone sections daunting, other melodies lack catchiness, and it is only the Lovers’ Melody which can compete with the best of Ketèlbey.  However, musically it is a tight-knit piece, with whole-tone harmony unifying the introduction and procession, a descending chromatic scale linking the introduction with the incantation and incense, pentatonic phrases occurring in both lovers’ music and disturbance, and a gong punctuating the beginning, middle and end.

 

Composer’s synopsis

After a few bars characteristic introduction, - The incantation of the priests in the Temple, - the perfume of incense floats on the air, - melody (given to cello, viola and oboe with pizzicato accompaniment) represents two lovers, - a Manchu wedding-procession passes noisily by, - a street disturbance ensues amongst the coolies, (founded on an actual Chinese scale,) - the beating of the gong in the Temple restores quietude, - the incantation of the priests is heard again, and the lovers' song (amidst the singing of birds) with a brief quotation from the Temple and Coolies' music brings the piece to a conclusion.

 

 

In a Chinese Temple-Garden - orchestral

 

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Pathé Concert O

Pathé 5783

94568

12” 78

[Feb 24]

BL

     Re-issue

- Actuelle 15156

12” 78

[Feb 24]

Court SO, Ketèlbey

Columbia 968

AX 99

12” 78

[Mar 24]               

BL, TM, (TM CD)

     Re-issue

- Columbia 5067-M

(American)

Jenö Fesca and his String O            

Homochord HB 2093

?

12” 78, 2 sides

[Sept 24]

Edith Lorand O

Parlophone P 1648

?

12” 78

 

 

     Re-issue

- Parlophone E 10198

7576

12” 78

[Dec 24]

Dec 24 p.262

 

     Re-issue

- Parlophon P 1807               

(German)

[Dec 24]

     Re-issue

- Odeon 3161

(American)

12” 78

[Aug 25]

Grosvenor O

Aco G 15616

C 6719

10” 78

[Feb 25]

BL

     Re-issue (Sutherland O)

- Beltona 654

C 6719

10” 78

[Jan 25]

 

 

     Re-issue (Warwick O)

- Duophone B 5015

C 6719?

10” 78

American Concert O

Edison 80853

10564 A12

10” 78

rec.Sept 25

BL

Court SO, Leggett               

Columbia 968R

WAX 1677-1

12” 78

[Aug 26]

WC

     Re-issue

- Columbia 5067-M

1677

12” 78

 

 

WC

International Concert O, Shilkret

Victor 3577

 

12” 78

 

 

WC

     Re-issue

- HMV C 1304    

A 35735

12” 78

[Jan 27]

Feb 27 p.374

BL

     Re-issue

- Gramophone L 867

(French)

12” 78

 

 

WC

     Re-issue

- HMV FKX 114

 

12” 78

 

 

PD

     Re-issue

- Evergreen Melodies C 62

CD

[1999]

PD, TM

Concert O, male chorus, Ketèlbey

Columbia 9859

WAX 4524, 4525

12” 78, 2 sides

[Oct 29] rec.Jan 29

Oct 29 p.208

BL, (TM CAS)

     Re-issue

- Columbia DXX 1346

(German)

MMU

     Re-issue

- Naxos 8.110174

CD

2001

BL, NX, TM

New Empire O

Decca K 523

MA 1456-3

12” 78

[Aug 30]

Oct 30 p.234

BL

Symphonie-O, chorus, organ, Weissmann

Odeon O 6787

xxQU 286

12” 78

?

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Odéon 171515

(French)

12”78

?

 

WC

     Re-issue (Orquesta Sinfónica de Berlin)

- Odeón 173222

XXQU 286 (Spanish)

12” 78

[1931]

 

WC

     Re-issue (Grand Symphony O)

- Parlophone E 11167

XXQU 286-1

12” 78

[Nov 31]

Nov 31 p.230

BL

Grosses Symphonie-O, chorus, organ, Weissmann

Odeon O 11453

Be 9941

10” 78

[1931]

MMU, cat.1936

WC

     Re-issue

- Odeon 168697

Be 9441

10” 78

[Mar 31]

 

WC, (TM CD)

Ernest Leggett’s O               

Sterno 772

?

10” 78, 2 sides

[Oct 31]

Oct 31 p.186

Grand SO, chorus, organ

Parlophone R 1877               

?

10” 78

[Aug 34]

Aug 34 p.99

Louis Voss Grand O

Bosworth BC 1107

CP 780

10” 78

[1941]

WC

     Re-issue

- Bosworth BOCD 162

CD

1989

BL, TM

     Re-issue

- Bosworth BPM 217

CD

2001

TM

     Re-issue

- Guild Light Music GLCD 5115

CD

July 05

BL, TM

Concert O, male chorus, Ketèlbey

Decca F 7619

DR 4756

10” 78

[Nov 40]

Dec 40 p.154-5

BL, PD, (TM CD)

New Promenade O, Wardour Singers, Robertson

London R 10018

DR 12250-1

78

[1948?] 

WC

Wilhelm Stephan mit seinem grossem Konzert-Orchester

Deutsche Grammophon 79376

5999 LHN

10” 78

?

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Polydor DP 1016

 

10” 78

[ca.1950?]

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Polydor 22376

 

SP

1954

 

 

New SO of London, male chorus, Robinson

Decca LK 4080

LP

[June 54]

July 54 p.73, Mar 55 p.464-465

BL

     Re-issue

- Decca LW 5140

10” LP

[Dec 54]

PD

     Re-issue

- Ace of Clubs ACL 1044

LP

[1961]

BL, (TM CD)

     Re-issue

- Eclipse ECS 2016 (+ECM)

LP

1969

Feb 70 p.1332

BL, PD, TM

     Re-issue

- Decca DDX 190039

(Dutch)

LP

1969

 

 

     Re-issue

- Decca NUX 390044

(Dutch)

LP

1969

 

 

Rochester Pops O, Gould

Columbia CL 560

(American)

10” LP

[1954]

     Re-issue

- Columbia AL 47

(American)

10” LP

 

 

 

     Re-issue

- Philips SO 6605R

(Dutch)

10” LP

 

 

 

     Re-issue

- Philips GO 6605

(French)

10” LP

[1959]

 

WC

Vienna State Opera O, organ, Aliberti      

Westminster WP 6082

 

LP

rec.June 57

 

(TM CD)

     Re-issue

- Westminster WST 15005

 

LP

 

 

WC

     Re-issue

- World Record Club TP 359

 

LP

1963

 

BL, PD

     Re-issue  Orquesta sinfónica de Baviera, Jenssen

- Dial Discos/Nevada ND 501312

(Spanish)

LP

1978

 

WC, TM

     Re-issue  Orquesta sinfónica de Baviera, Jenssen

- Dial Discos NC 501312

(Spanish)

CAS

[1978]

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Westminster WGS  8139

(American)

LP

1981

 

TM

     Re-issue  Orquesta sinfónica de Baviera, Jenssen

- Dial Discos 102048

(Spanish)

CAS

[1986]

 

WC

     Re-issue  Orquesta sinfónica de Baviera, Jenssen

- Dial 960139                        

(Spanish)

CD

1991

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Voix de son maître 2CO 59392502

(French)

LP

 

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Voix de son maître C 24592502

(French)

CAS

 

 

WC

New SO of London, male chorus, Sharples

Decca SKL 4077

LP

[1959]

Feb 60 p.434

BL, PD

     Re-issue

- Decca DFE 6665

SP

[1961]

May 61 p.603

     Re-issue

- Decca DFE STO 149

SP

[1961]

May 61 p.603

     Re-issue

- Decca SPA 187

LP

1971

July 72 p.253

BL, PD

     Re-issue

- Decca LXT 4329

(Spanish)

LP

[1960]

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Decca SKC 4077

(Spanish)

CAS

[1969]

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Decca 841203

(Spanish)

CAS

1982

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Decca 452987-2

CD

1997

BL, PD, TM

     Re-issue

- Vocalion CDLF 8143

CD

[2011]

LMS Aut 11 p42

PD

Richard Hayman & his O (arr. Hayman)

Mercury MG 10106

(Spanish)

EP

[1959]

 

WC

Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Riethmüller (organ), chorus,

Schmidt-Boelke

Orbis OP 3116

 

10” LP

1960

 

Pfälzische Landesbibliothek

Stuttgart Philharmonic O, male chorus, Mareczek 

Fontana SFL 14141

LP

1967

Jan 70 p.1188

BL, TM, (TM CD)

     Re-issue

- Phillips 839800 G7/GSY

 

LP

 

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Philips G 05585

(French)

10” LP

[1967]

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Philips 836397 VZ

(French)

10” LP

[1967]

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Philips 837494 G7

 

LP

 

(French cat.1967)

 

     Re-issue

- Philips 730236

(Spanish)

CAS

[1971]

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Philips 7431049

(Spanish)

CAS

[1977]

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Philips 7318016

(French)

CAS

 

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Philips 9117 CAA

(French)

CAS

 

 

WC

Royal Philharmonic Chorus & O, Rogers

Decca PFS 4170

LP

1969

Nov 69 p.833

BL, TM

     Re-issue

- Decca DGS 16

(American)

LP

1980

 

 

     Re-issue

- Decca 6594064

(Spanish)

LP

1981

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Decca 444 786-2LPF

CD

1996

Aug 96 p.60

BL, PD, TM

Ambrosian Singers, Philharmonia O, Lanchbery

EMI ASD 3542   

LP

1978

July 78 p.261

BL, TM

     Re-issue

- Angel S 37483

(American)

LP

1978

 

 

     Re-issue

- Hörzu 1C 05702986Q

(German)

LP

?

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Angel SS 45012

(American)

EP

1979

 

 

    Re-issue

- Voz de su Amo 10C 265002986Q

(Spanish)

CAS

[1980]

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Voix de son maître 2C 2692986

(French)

CAS

 

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Angel CDC 7478062

 

CD

[1987]

 

WC

 

     Re-issue

- CD-CFP 4637

CD

1993

Mar 94 p.114

BL, TM

     Re-issue

- TC-CFP 4637

 

CAS

1993

Mar 94 p.114

 

 

     Re-issue

- EMI 50112920

(Japanese remastering)

CD

1994

 

TM

 

     Re-issue

- EMI Classics 5730002

(German)

CD

[1998]

 

WC

 

     Re-issue

- HMV 5724852

CD

1998

     Re-issue

- EMI Classics 0724 3573 00056

 

CD

[1999]

 

NX

 

     Re-issue

- EMI Classics 0742 3573 00155

 

CD

[1999]

 

 

 

     Re-issue

- EMI Classics 0094 6352 39959

 

CD

[2006]

 

NX

 

Ambrosian Chorus, London Promenade O, Faris

Philips 6514 152

 

LP

1982

Apr 82 p.1423

BL, TM

     Re-issue

- Philips 7337152

 

CAS

1982

Apr 82 p.1423

WC

 

     Re-issue

- Philips 400 011-2PH

CD

1982

Apr 83 p.1152

BL, PD, TM

     Re-issue

- Philips 4626572

CD

1999

BL, PD

     Re-issue

CAS

2000

     Re-issue

- Decca/Universal 4737202               

CD

2003

June 03 p.50

BL, WC, PD

Palm Court Theatre O, male chorus, Godwin

Chandos FBCD 2002

CD

1998

BL, TM

     Re-issue

- Chandos 6676

 

CD

 

 

NX

 

Berliner Symphoniker, Collegium Musicale Vocale Berlin, Buschkötter

Lindström O 28139

Be 14255-1

10” 78

?

 

WC

Crystal Palace O

Clausophon 598

4596 (German)

10” 78

?

MMU

WC

Grosses Parlophon-Streich-O, chorus, Dobrindt

Parlophon B 47122

133155

10” 78

?

 

WC

     Re-issue

- Parlophon B 48043

(German)

10” 78

?

MMU 

WC

 

     Re-issue Gloria SO, chorus

- Lindström GO 27385

133155

10” 78

?

 

WC

 

Lajos Barany-Künstler-O

Grammophon 792

4583 BDii

10” 78

?

MMU  

WC

Paul Godwin mit seinem Künstler-Ensemble

Grammophon 19717

162be

12” 78

?

MMU

WC

     Re-issue

- Polydor 24471 A

 

 

?

 

WC

Ferdy Kauffman & sein Orchester

Gramophone ?

40934 R (French)

12” 78

?

 

WC

 

Victor Concert O, Shilkret

RCA Victor L 24002 B

L 24002

78

?

 

WC

     Re-isssue? (Victor Concert O, Bourdon)

- Victor L24002

 

10” 78

?

 

WC

 

     Re-issue

- Victor L24002

transcription record

10” 33

[ca.1930]

 

PD

 

 

The orchestration of this piece is fairly clearly defined, with few options left to the performer:

-          Some performances have the chorus of priests singing the prescribed words, some follow the instruction for the priests to hum, and yet others mix singing and humming.  

-          Parts for alto and tenor saxophones were only added to the orchestral set around 1930, to cater for the changing composition of light orchestras; the composer himself didn’t use them when recording this work, but they do add a suitably exotic colour to the texture.

-          In the second half of the first bar the percussionist is asked to play a “Chinese Drum”;  this is indeed what the composer seems to use in his 1940 recording, but a few conductors have chosen instead a Chinese Temple Block (a wooden slit drum), as being more appropriated to the garden of a Chinese temple.

-          The final bar is a single quaver in the parts, but in his 1929 recording the composer himself allowed his gong to resonate on.

 

The main divergence between performances has been the speed of the Machu Procession.  The score is merely marked “Più mosso” (=faster), but some recordings take the section far too fast to process to – even Gurkhas regiments don’t exceed 140 steps a minute.  However, this passage with its whole-tone melody and harmony does sound crude and naïve if taken too slow.

 

Artists

Main tempo

Procession

Cuts

Bars cut

Other features

Score

72

Più mosso

 

 

 

Ketèlbey (1923)

77

113

2

49

Small band with clear oboe, clarinet & cornet solos. No vocal effects

Ketèlbey (1924)

62

101

4

36

Small orchestra, without double bass and harp. Solo voice, but no shouting

Ketèlbey (1929)

62

110

0

0

With celeste. Some vocal lines omitted, and “Ah” is replaced by a nasal “Eh”

Ketèlbey (1940)

71

128

6

52

Without harp

Aldershot Tattoo (Miller)

82

cut

1

96

With one voice declaiming over music.

Aldershot Tattoo (Silver Stars)

75

cut

1

96

With one voice declaiming over music

Aliberti

64

116

0

0

With harmonium.  No vocal effects or harp

Amers

78

132

3

28

Uses glockenspiel instead of xylophone. No vocal effects

Faris

60

98

0

0

With saxophone

Foort

64

113

2

40

 

Godwin

65

120

0

0

Small orchestra, with piano. Humming an octave lower (is this temple in Tibet?)

Hielscher

74

83

0

0

 

Lanchbery

52

132

0

0

With saxophone

Maclean

50

cut

3

61

 

Mareczek

75

128

1

8

Gong has discordant bass resonance of Bb.  Chinese temple-block enters 2 beats too early in bar 47

Robinson

67

120

5

36

With saxophone instead of cor anglais

Rogers

69

142

1

8

 

Sharples

55

153

0

0

Harp also plays discretely during first lovers’ theme

Shilkret (A 35735)

72

113

3

24

Small orchestra, with piano. No vocal effects

Voss

66

137

6

50

With very active harp additions. No vocal effects

Weissmann (xxQU 286)

74

120

4

38

See below

Welsh Guards

87

124

4

52

With shouting and bird whistle, but no chanting

 

xxQU 286 can be heard at http://bdh.bne.es/bnesearch/detalle/2780578  This version has a very loud organ accompanying the incantation of the priests, the chorus laughing to the music of the wedding procession and completely drowning out the music of the street disturbance with their shouting.  A Hawaiian guitar and saxophone which both happened to be in the recording studio are commandeered for the reprise of the incantation and love theme, and the garden is enlivened by a bird-whistle. 

The International Concert Orchestra can be heard at http://archive.org/details/AKetelbyFestival-5CutsFrom1927-1930  and also (played too fast, but with a useful list of the orchestral forces) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eknyfAh_9I

 

K 523 only has an extract from this piece.

 

In a Chinese Temple Garden  - military band

 

 

Artists

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Silver Stars Band, Ketèlbey

Regal G 8005

A 98

10” 78

[Oct 23]

BL

     Re-issue

- VLMS VH 115

CAS

[1987]

TM

Band of HM Royal Air Force, Amers

HMV C 1149

Cc 4455-2

12” 78

[July 24]

Aug 24 p.105

BL

Band of HM Royal Air Force, Amers

HMV C 1244

Cc 7329-2

12” 78

[Mar 26]

Apr 26 p.534

BL

     Re-issue

- VLMS SP 108

CAS

TM

2LO Military Band, Godfrey

Velvet Face (Edison) 1172

?

10” 78

[Aug 26]               

Band of HM Grenadier Guards, Miller (Aldershot Command Searchlight Tattoo)

Columbia 9109

WAX 1667

12” 78

[Aug 26]

Aug 26 p.128

BL (TMmp3 inc.)

Silvers Stars Band (Aldershot Tattoo)

Regal G 8649

WA 3473-1

10” 78

[Sept 26] rec.23.6.26

BL, (TM CD)

Band of HM Irish Guards

Imperial 1716

?

10” 78

[Mar 27]

Apr 27 p.464

Band of HM Welsh Guards

Broadcast 199

Z 280-1

8” 78

[1928] rec Dec 27

(TM CD)

     Re-issue

- Broadcast B 1004

(French)

8” 78

 

 

WC

     Re-issue  “Musique de la Garde Royale Anglaise”

- Broadcast 1060

(French)

8” 78

 

 

WC

London Fire Brigade Band

Piccadilly 482

?

10” 78

Apr 30 p.512

Musique du 39ème R.I., Revoil

Corelia

 

CAS

1986

 

WC

South Shore Concert Band, Whitmarsh

Sounds of the Circus 19

CD

2001

?

Orchestrola 8106

 (German)

?

MMU

Ketèlbey’s recording cuts all material after the street disturbance.

 

The two recordings from the Aldershot Tattoo are only short extracts. A male voice declaims over the Priest’s music in quasi-Chinese, far closer to the microphone in the Grenadier Guards recording than with the Silver Stars.

 

More details in the table above.

 

                                                                                                                       

In a Chinese Temple Garden  - organ

 

Artists

Instrument

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Reginald Foort

New Gallery Cinema, London

HMV C 1330

CR 1283-1

12” 78

[June 27]

June 27 p.24

BL,

Re-issue

- Electrola EH 63

CR 1283-1

12” 78

MMU  

WC

 

Re-issue

- World Records SH 338

 

LP

1979

 

BL, WC, TM, (TM CAS)

Jack Courtnay

Elite Super Cinema, Wimbledon

Regal G 8855

WA5204-1

10” 78

[July 27] rec.8.4.27

BL

Quentin Maclean

Pavilion, Shepherds Bush

Columbia 4921

WA6426-1

10” 78

[Aug 28] rec Oct 27

Sept 28 p.159

BL, (TM CD)

 

Re-issue

- Columbia 1899D

 

10” 78

 

 

 

 

Re-issue

- Columbia FB 1482

5200A

10” 78

[Oct 36]

 

 

Re-issue

- Beulah 1PD 7

CD

1994

BL

C.D. Smart

Plaza Theatre, London

Winner 4933

?

10” 78

[Oct 29]

Oct 29 p.208

Philip Dore

Bournemouth Pavilion

Parlophone E 10952

XE 2952-1

12” 78

[Feb 30]

Feb 30 p.417

BL, WC

Edward O'Henry

Madame Tussaud's, London

Broadcast Twelve 5200

5200A

10” 78

[Dec 30]

Dec 30 p.351

BL

James Bell

Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square, London

Bosworth BE 19

CP 1044

10” 78

[1940?]

 

 

Richard Ellsasser

John Hays Hammond Jr. Museum, Gloucester, Mass.

MGM E 3282

 

LP

rec.1955

 

WC, TM

Gerrhard Gregor

Grosse Welte Funkorgel, Hamburg

NDR E 700255

 

CD

2001

 

 

Hans Uwe Hielscher

Dunedin Town Hall

Ifo ORG 72112

 

CD

2004

 

WC, TM

Douglas Mews

Wellington Town Hall

Priory PRCD 1030

 

CD

2010

 

WC

Benna Moe

Palladium

Tono SP 4680

?

78

?

 

WC

Lew White

Aeolian 176-Note Duo-Art

roll

?

online cat.2003

?

Residence Organ Roll 3661

roll

?

Both Foort and Maclean have convincing gongs and drums on their organs

 

Ellsasser occasionally changes the harmony, and plays the Procession too fast to be able to make the accelerando molto marked in the score; his gong is far too quiet, but otherwise his quieter passages are very sensitively played.

 

Hielscher’s organ has no gong, and his attempt at it sounds more like Frankenstein approaching than a call to prayer in a Buddhist temple.  He is faithful to the score, and gives a clean but routine performance.

 

More details in table above.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

In a Chinese Temple Garden  - other instrumental

 

Artists

Instruments

Label

Matrix

Format

Date

Review

Locations

Archive

?

Piano

Universal Roll S 12792a

roll

? by 1930

Hans Hause

Piano

Welte Music Roll 4157

roll

? by 1930

Belgian Mandoline O

Mandolins

Parlophone R 1462      

?

10” 78

[Apr 33]

Apr 33 p.442

 

 

     Re-issue

 

- Parlophone F 767        

10” 78

[May 37]

May 37 p.532

Collins H. Driggs

Novachord synthesiser

Victor P 57-3

27306A

78

ca.1940

 

WC

 

Heinrich Rietmüller

Polychord-Konzertorgel, ensemble, chorus

Opera 3116

 

10” LP

[1950s]

 

 

 

Jenny Lin

Piano, gong

Bis CD 1110

CD

[?2000]

Jan 01 p.83

BL, NX

Eric Halstead

Piano

private recording

web

[?2002]

Markus Staab

Piano

private recording

 

web

2008

 

 

 

Rita Braga

Keyboard

Rita Braga NAU 002

 

CD

2011

 

 

 

?

Piano

Artistyle 93345b

roll

?

PD

mr03

Driggs can be heard at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gtptlyFLD4

The Halstead recording is available at http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/3998219-collection-of-ketelbey-midi-files-zip

The Staab version can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMRXVwQigyA

 

The Rita Braga is on the album Cherrie that went to the police, which appears to be have been recorded at a live sketch show, with much unexplained laughter from the audience.

Driggs plays a synthesiser which combines piano and harmonium effects, as well as having a passable gong.  He makes 4 cuts totalling 44 bars, but adds 3 chords of his own at the end.       

Lin expands the published texture with a few extra octaves.  She follows the orchestral flute in playing trills to represent the birds singing.  She is joined by a real tam-tam, but for some reason this doesn’t play in the final bars.